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Press Relase: Westward Look Expands Popular, Pioneering Chef’s Garden

Posted on June 7, 2013

Tucson, Ariz. (July 2, 2013) – As “locally grown,” “fresh,” and “farm-to-table” selections are top of mind for diners, Tucson’s award-winning Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa has doubled the size of its all-organic Chef’s Garden, one of the largest resort gardens in the state and a guest favorite since its debut in 1998.

A former private residence known for its blend of historic charm and modern luxury, Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa has been growing its own herbs, fruits, greens and edible flowers for more than a decade. Chef’s Garden tours hosted by Landscape Manager Raymundo Ocampo are frequently mentioned as a highlight among guests.

Previous visitors will want to return to sample the garden’s new sights, smells and tastes. Key changes include the garden almost doubling in size to 2,400 square feet; the addition of a 300-square-foot grape arbor; and an abundance of vegetables at the request of the resort’s executive chef, with new crops of tomatoes – such as heirloom varieties and classics including Celebrity, San Marzano, Black Cherry and Yellow Currant – and other fresh produce, including pineapple and purple tomatillos, golden scallop squash, cipollini onions and more.

“The expansion of our Chef’s Garden reflects national trends for healthy cuisine, but also the culinary vision of our new Executive Chef, Antonio Rodriguez,” says Jerry Jensen, the resort’s director of sales and marketing. “We’ve been doing this long before it was a trend, so we’re well prepared to give our guests the indulgent, yet healthy, creations they’re looking for.”

“Our chef requested more vegetables, because he knows very well how to use them,” says Ocampo, who manages the garden and is considered the force behind its success. “This is entirely new ground, so it’s full of nutrients and it’s producing a great summer harvest.”

Some of the garden’s seasonal highlights include artichokes, watermelon and peaches, which are used to create a luscious summer sorbet served at GOLD, Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa’s award-winning, fine-dining restaurant.

The garden also includes more than 20 kinds of fruit trees, such as Black Mission figs, Santa Rosa plums, Asian pears and two varieties of apples; herbs like basil, rosemary, lemongrass, mint and sage, all within easy reach of the restaurant kitchen; and edible flowers such as violets and nasturtium that are signature garnishes and add intriguing flavors to GOLD’s plates.

The garden’s beauty and bounty change with the season, Ocampo says, bringing new fruits and vegetables as the year passes.

“Our guests love to reach out and pick fruit off the trees,” says Ocampo. “We call it the Chef’s Garden, but it’s really for everyone to share and experience the desert up close, right here at Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa.”

A Chef’s Garden tour is an ideal addition to Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa’s Tropical Escape package, valid for rooms booked now through Sept. 6, 2013. For more information on the package and rates, visit www.westwardlook.com.


Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa is set in the foothills of Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains on 80 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert. It offers 241 guestrooms, two award-winning restaurants, a chef’s garden, the Sonoran Spa, eight tennis courts, desert hiking trails, on-site stables for horseback riding and multiple pools. Since 2010, the resort has been named an AAA Four Diamond Award® recipient each year, which honors the hotel for its commitment to excellence throughout the entire property, including GOLD restaurant, the resort’s extensive array of amenities, guest services and its attention to detail. More information is available by calling (800) 722-2500 or visiting www.westwardlook.com.


Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC, a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN), offers upscale hotel and resort accommodations throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, China and the Caribbean. All Wyndham® hotels are either franchised by the company or managed by Wyndham Hotel Management, Inc., one of its affiliates or through a joint-venture partner. Additional information and reservations for all Wyndham hotels are available by calling (800) WYNDHAM (800-996-3426) or by visiting www.wyndham.com.